Purpose of review: To (1) explain what yoga is, (2) summarize published literature on the efficacy of yoga for managing cancer treatment-related toxicities, (3) provide clinical recommendations on the use of yoga for oncology professionals, and (4) suggest promising areas for future research.
Recent findings: Based on a total of 24 phase II and one phase III clinical trials, low-intensity forms of yoga, specifically gentle hatha and restorative, are feasible, safe, and effective for treating sleep disruption, cancer-related fatigue, cognitive impairment, psychosocial distress, and musculoskeletal symptoms in cancer patients receiving chemotherapy and radiation and cancer survivors. Clinicians should consider prescribing yoga for their patients suffering with these toxicities by referring them to qualified yoga professionals. More definitive phase III clinical trials are needed to confirm these findings and to investigate other types, doses, and delivery modes of yoga for treating cancer-related toxicities in patients and survivors.
Keywords: Cancer-related fatigue; Cognitive impairment; Musculoskeletal symptoms; Psychological distress; Sleep disorder; Yoga.